BEHIND THE SCENES: LIVE EDITING SESSIONS
While our high-end products are certainly valuable on their own, the coolest part of NEOMODERN is the personalized editing and retouching we do on every image. Here are a few examples of the kinds of changes we do with clients. It really only takes a few minutes but makes a world of difference, and usually is not work a consumer can do on her own. And it’s more than you watching us work; we are working together to make the photo perfect. Our printmasters can make any shot better, but only you know what you want and we have the skills to make it that way. Customers watch us enhance images from smartphone, tablet, the web, or desktop, and talk to us while we’re working. The results are unprecedented. Take a look.
SESSION 1: The Girl with the Flower (8 minutes)
You can see at the start that photo is dark, and the subject is hard to separate from the background.
First the printmaster (Carlos) explored brightening the entire image. It’s definitely better brighter, but the customer suddenly had the idea to make the girl color and the background greyscale. So they shifted to that goal.
Carlos carefully selected just the girl so he could adjust her directly – making her brighter and more colorful.
Then he began adjusting the background separately, dropping the chroma, lightening it slightly.
Then he went back to enhance the colors of the flowers and her outfit.
Next he slightly adjusted the frame, zooming in a little to center her, and rotating the image a little bit to straighten the horizon.
Finally, he removed a few tiny distractions in the frame – items on the ground that were unsightly: some dog poop, sidewalk cracks and litter, stuff like that.
At the end, Carlos felt the background still needed a little contrast tweak for the entire image and some minor modification of the edges to soften them. A subtle change no one would notice on a computer screen but that would be possibly an issue in a physical print.
The client loved it!
And before we print and frame, we create a mockup of how the print would look matted and framed, so you can feel the weights and adjust positioning. Frequently images are centered in a mat, but it’s to taste (some photos are artistically placed higher in the mat; it just depends on what you like. This one was centered. The customer agreed. It was printed and framed in 20 minutes.
SESSION 2: The Adventurer (10 Minutes)
For this project, the client felt the photo was pretty good when it began and was prepared to print it as it was. Carlos offered to show what subtle color adjustments would do. No one wanted the image to look “fake” or modified, so tweaks were nuanced.
Overall the image was dehazed, removing some of the artifacts that camera lenses insert into a scene. Then the contrast between the climber and the rock face was improved. And finally, the colors of the ice, rocks and climbers were each tuned.
They discussed printing it larger and also leaving it midsize but framed in a larger 20x24 frame (for more matting around it). The mock up shows that in the end it was printed and placed in a 16x20 black frame.
SESSION 3: The Family (10 Minutes)
This is an excellent example of the ways a printmaster can radically improve a customer’s iPhone picture. In the video Carlos explains the steps taken:
Adjusting the horizon (in this case, rotating the image slightly to straighten it out.
Removing the rivets in the background to try to make the existing background less distracting.
Color balancing and lightening.
Then, at the customer’s request, Carlos added in a different neutral background that would fit the image and be less bland than the wall behind them.
Finally, more color and light adjustments to smooth the image.
Session 4: Little Boy
This is a classic example of the little improvements that can be quickly done by us, that are harder for iPhone users to execute. Here was a little Instagram shot of a little boy. The primary adjustment was removing a few distracting objects from the background. Many other tweaks could have been done but were ultimately rejected — like subtly blurring the background or popping the colors more. The picture is great as is, so once the objects were removed, it was mocked up in an 8x8 frame and after approval, printed and framed. The whole process took less than 20 minutes.
Session 5: Couple on the Beach
This is another deceptively simple fix: the photo is generally dark and low contrast, so it seems like all that would be needed is an overall brightening. But in truth, not all parts of the image should be brightened to the same degree. Most of the session was determining which areas needed what kind of adjustment and creating the mask. Then some small discolorations in the couple were fixed. A quick and satisfying result, but still not possible to most iPhone users.